Number 50 of 100 of the sold-out Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Toto Wolff x Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team” Ref. IW503607 will be auctioned by Bonhams as of 30th of June 2022.
Until 7th of July, interested buyers can place their bid for the last available piece of the iconic timepiece dedicated to the Austrian entrepreneur and former racing driver Toto Wolff. The proceeds will go to Ignite, a charitable initiative launched by The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1™ Team and Sir Lewis Hamilton which supports greater diversity and inclusion in motorsports.
Read below some excerpts of a talk between sports- and fashion photographer Paul Ripke and Toto Wolff - available on IWC Podcasts.
HUNGER FOR MOTORSPORTS
Paul Ripke: How do you get to work, what’s a typical commute for you?
Toto Wolff: My typical commute is like anybody else’s. I take the car, I drive 25 minutes from Oxford to Brackley. And if I’m not in the UK, I commute by airplane.
When was the first time you got in contact with motorsports?
I only got in touch when I was 18. I wasn’t aware of the possibility of go-carting, neither did we have the financial means. So, it was literally by visiting a friend, by sheer coincidence, on the Nürburgring. He was racing in the Junior Formula, and seeing him compete was when the fire was ignited. So, very very late.
Which aspect of your job are you more passionate about: racing or finance?
If you had asked me ten years ago, it would have definitely been finance because that’s the real world. But today, racing and the results are everything. The stopwatch never lies. And if you’re successful on the track, you’re successful commercially. That’s why I take so much pleasure in running the team.
Are you still hungry?
Hungry! Every day I wake up hungry because my ambition hasn’t changed. Maybe my priorities have shifted slightly once I became a father. But it didn’t change anything on my energy level and my motivation to pursue my dreams.
All watches have been sold out, so this is the last possibility of getting the Toto Wolff Edition.
The “Toto Wolff Edition” features a Ceratanium® case and crown…
…and is powered by the IWC-manufacture caliber 52615 with the iconic Pellaton winding system.
THE WATCH FOR TOTO-TANTRUMS
Let’s talk watches. What happened after you famously hit your desk out of frustration while wearing an IWC watch?
It was quite funny because Chris Grainger who runs IWC – we have established a really close relationship – said: “I have something that you need.” I said, “What is it?”, and he said: “It’s a watch that can sustain your tantrums.” And so, I got a Big Pilot’s Watch Shock Absorber XPL in our green racing colors. I’m so thankful. I’ve been wearing it all along, and it hasn’t got any scratches, nor has it been damaged.
Right now, you’re wearing the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Toto Wolff x Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team”. And it has your name on it!
It’s funky, isn’t it? I’m a fan of the Top Gun watches anyway and of the Perpetual Calendar. It’s a big watch. I’m quite tall, so I need a big watch. We started to discuss about how I would design a watch. Chris and the creative department were very open, and this is where we came up with the Toto Wolff Edition. It’s a massive watch, it has luminescent green, but more intense than on any other watch. So, in the night you almost have a volt green color. I spoke to my 20-year-old son and said: “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a volt green watch in the club?” And he said: “That’s exactly what we need!” I love the watch!
AUCTION PROCEEDS GOING TO IGNITE
The watch carrying the number 50 will be auctioned online with the proceeds going to Ignite, which is an initiative that Lewis and you launched, right?
I think it’s a really strong sign of the partnership we’ve had with IWC. All watches have been sold out, so this is the last possibility of getting the Toto Wolff Edition. Lewis, I and the team have set up a charity program that is called Ignite where we try to fund and support careers in motorsports for underprivileged children from a diverse background. We have funded the charity with a couple of million pounds, and now the proceeds of this watch will go in there.
There’s one red detail on the watch. Have you changed teams?
This was part of the design feature that we discussed with Chris. My best friend, closest ally, and brother-in-crime was Niki Lauda. He passed away in 2019, and I miss him dearly. The team misses him. And I wanted to have an homage to Niki – who was known because of his red cap – by having a red circle around the crown. It’s a feature that you don’t see at first sight, but when you wear the watch you have a little bit of Niki Lauda on the watch, too.
Place your bid for the auction piece by 7th July here: https://www.bonhams.com/auction/28074/
Listen to the entire podcast and find out what Toto considers his biggest achievements in business and private life, and how he best handles pressure and emotional setbacks.
—Poster created by artist Andrew Ritter to celebrate the British Grand Prix Silverstone this past weekend
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